8 Coolest Job Perks Candidates Respond To

job perks

In 2022, American companies continue to recalibrate and re-prioritize in the aftermath of The Great Resignation. Offering employee incentives and top benefits that candidates want has become a primary component of an effective talent acquisition (and retention) strategy. And, perhaps just as importantly, really good employee incentives keep morale high in the workplace. It’s not just the difference between staying or going — it’s employees enjoying a good quality of life, and being happy to work for their particular company.

What company benefits are employees likely to value most? Ranking high on the list are things like two weeks of paid time off before starting; the opportunity to have your eggs frozen subsidized by the company; and the offer of unlimited PTO. Here’s how smart companies are going the distance to attract, acquire, and retain top talent.

Job Perk #1: Six Months Parental Leave

Many companies offer some form of maternity leave, but it’s seldom long enough. More and more, companies are beginning to realize that both parents want to be present at home to bond with a new child — whether it’s a newborn, an adopted child, or a foster child. And, given the existence of same-sex marriages and non-binary gendered individuals, it makes the most sense to offer parental leave to every employee who needs it.

“My company truly prioritizes work-life balance, especially for new parents,” says Avi Newman, Assistant Director of Software Engineering at Start Early. “The six months I spent bonding with my newborn daughter will have lifelong benefits for her and our relationship. I cannot begin to put a monetary value on that.”

Many companies have begun to offer six months of paid leave for new parents, investing in their family’s stability and strong relationships for a lifetime.

Job Perk #2: Student Loan Assistance

Assistance in repaying student loans and/or tuition is a significant employee incentive that empowers each employee to prioritize their education and productivity over the stress of worrying about how to afford it. This is also good for the company, as it allows employees to grow professionally, earning new credentials, developing new skills, and taking on new responsibilities and challenges to help propel business forward.

Job Perk #3: Giving Employees Their First Two Weeks Off — PAID

It may seem counterintuitive to start a new employee on their pay and company benefits fourteen business days before they’ve begun any actual work at your company. However, this benefit shows new hires that the company truly cares about their time, work/life balance, and state of mind.

Most candidates see right through the “but work is part of life” rhetoric that argues against the concept of work/life balance. People will recognize — and feel loyalty toward — a company that has their best interests at heart.

Companies who have implemented this approach as part of their hiring strategy are giving new employees the opportunity to begin a fresh role at work with a rested, revitalized mindset.

Job Perk #4: Employer-Subsidized Egg Freezing

This perk reveals that a company is willing to invest in employees by helping them invest in their own future happiness. There are a number of different reasons why someone might want to freeze their eggs—and it can be incredibly expensive, which makes this a very valuable benefit. The company that subsidizes egg freezing is helping employees achieve both their personal and professional goals.

Job Perk #5: Unlimited PTO

“Unlimited” in this context simply means that employees can take time off whenever they need to, provided they meet all their deadlines and maintain quality work performance. Unlimited PTO tends to be one of the top benefits that candidates want.

The key to successfully offering this company benefit is letting employees know that the company genuinely wants them to take vacation time — and then make sure that company culture, from the top down, walks the walk.

Job Perk #6: Subsidized Pet Insurance

Many people consider their pets family members and want to get them whatever medical care they may need over the course of their lives. And that’s expensive! Subsidized pet insurance is a great quality-of-life incentive that many will respond to.

Job Perk #7: Relocation Reimbursement

Relocation is a known life stressor — and it’s also very expensive. Many companies are offering relocation assistance or full reimbursement these days. For employees who have to move a significant distance for the job, it’s a metaphorical welcome mat — their new company is helping them start a new chapter.

Job Perk #8: Annual Trips Overseas

Also known as experiential bonuses, these employee incentives are becoming popular among young employees (think Gen Z). The types of experiences that might count as a “bonus” could be traveling to France to take a wine certification course, or studying Mandarin in an intensive language class and visiting Beijing.

While cold, hard cash is certainly nothing to sneeze at, the old adage that there’s no substitute for experience certainly rings true.

Attracting Top Candidates in 2022 & Beyond

Not every company out there is in the position to offer every benefit on this list. But carefully considering what your company can offer in order to attract top talent is a great starting point — and something that will continue to be an important focus for the rest of 2022, and onward.

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